The Edmond de Rothschild Foundations

Le Théâtre Gérard Philippe

In the heart of the city of Saint-Denis, the Théâtre Gérard Philipe (TGP) has undertaken the mission of making art and culture accessible to diverse audiences from both Paris and the nearby suburbs, through its programs and educational initiatives. The theater reaches out to the residents of the suburbs, in particular by working with schools and community organizations.

An artistic program to discover careers in the performing arts

To broaden its activities in arts education and awareness, the TGP launched a pilot program with a class of students in their junior year (16 and 17 year olds) at Paul Eluard High School in Saint-Denis.

Along with several professional artists and some of their teachers, one of the 16 classes of juniors at Paul Eluard High School will have the opportunity to form a genuine theater troupe by working together on a creative project based on the graphic novel “The Arrival” by Shaun Tan (published by Dargaud).

More than a simple introduction to the dramatic arts and choreography, this program enables students to explore a new professional universe through hands-on experience in various performing arts careers: directing, set design and construction, costume design, light and sound design, light and stage technology. To encourage participation and provide individual attention to each student, the closely supervised artistic work sessions are conducted in small groups.

The program will also introduce students to theatrical culture and practices through visits to the TGP that include behind-the-scenes tours. Students will attend three of the theater's productions, meet with the artists, and take music initiation classes to discover the world of opera, which are taught by an opera singer and harpsichordist.

To wrap up the learning and discovery process, at the end of the school year a collective work will be produced in the TGP’s grande hall. For some students, this moment will serve as a bridge between the program and a future career choice.

Including artistic careers in schooling and professional development options

This program is the fruit of an unprecedented partnership between the French National Education Ministry, Arcadi, the cultural agency in the Ile-de-France region that supports art and artistic creation, the TGP and the Edmond de Rothschild Foundations. The goal of this unique collective is to build a sustainable model that can be duplicated on a larger scale.

Because it involves not only students, but also teachers and the entire educational community, this program embodies the Edmond de Rothschild Foundations’ commitment to encourage arts-related activities in school settings in order to contribute to students’ personal development, foster group unity, and improve the learning environment.

Thanks to this partnership, these high-school students can find out about new disciplines and career options while they also discover skills, talents, affinities and interests that they never suspected they had. The program offers a unique kind of support to these high school students at a crucial moment in their education and development, which will help them make important decisions regarding their educational and professional futures.

In addition to raising awareness about the arts and culture, this program supports the Edmond de Rothschild Foundations’ mission to provide each child with the tools he or she needs to develop and thrive. In the process, artistic experiences pave the way for personal growth and good citizenship.

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